The study, “Tracking of Obesity-Related Behaviors from Childhood to Adulthood: A Systematic Review,” is an analysis of articles examining the tracking of physical activity and dietary intake from childhood to adulthood. The systematic review features 27 articles published between 1993 and 2011, which indicate tracking of both physical activity and dietary intake from childhood to adulthood. Being the first systematic review of both behaviors, this study provides significant information towards the prevention of persistent childhood obesity into adulthood. However, the researchers provided shallow background information with limited connection to the current study.
Tracking of Obesity-Related Behaviors from Childhood to Adulthood: A Systematic Review
Obesity in childhood poses physical, psychological, and social problems. Additionally, the condition is likely to be carried to adulthood. Obesity occurs when energy intake, from food consumption, surpasses energy uptake in the form of metabolic reaction and physical activity. While children can develop obesity from poor eating habits and lack of physical activity, they also may be genetically prone to the condition. However, the high physical activity can suppress the genetic predisposition to obesity. Since obesity in childhood is likely to persist into adulthood, Craigie et al. (2011), in their study, “Tracking of Obesity-Related Behaviors from Childhood to Adulthood: A Systematic Review,”examine the tracking of physical activity and dietary intake from childhood to adulthood. The study is the first systematic review of the tracking of the two determinants of obesity from childhood to adulthood, which makes it highly valuable in this research. However, the background information of the subject is thin.
Understanding the tracking of dietary intake and physical activity from childhood to adulthood is essential in the development of interventions for preventing the persistence of obesity. The present study included articles that reported both male and female participants from diverse ethnic backgrounds, not above 18 years at baseline and a follow-up of at least five years. The team searched databases such asEMBASE, MEDLINE, MeSH, Google Scholar, and PSYCInfo.Healthy individuals, those at risk of developing the disease, as well as those diagnosed with obesity were used as the study sample. Various studies focusing on physical activities such as sports, walking, cycling, or sedentary behavior like watching television, as well as measures of diet, were analyzed. Importantly, studies were only included in the analysis if they were based on a quantitative measure. Articles were extensively screened by multiple reviewers to identify potentially relevant ones. Tracking was measured using the regression coefficient, correlation coefficient, and other tools like Cohen’s Kappa. 27 articles published between 1993 and 2011 were analyzed. Questionnaires or questionnaire-based interviews were majorly used to measure outcomes, with only three studies using physical activity record. While the methodology of the researches was consistent from baseline to follow-up, the content of the questionnaires varied with timelines.
The researchers revealed that tracking of dietary intake and physical activity from childhood to adulthood was stronger in males than females. Tracking was also stronger with increasing age at baseline and became weaker across the duration of follow-up. Four studies indicated the likelihood of being physically active in adulthood. Oneresearch reported that those participants who were less active at 16 years at baseline had a 95% probability of being less active 14 years later. Another study revealed that men who engaged in daily sports at 14 years old had a higher likelihood of being very active or active at 31 years compared to when they engage in sports 2-3 times a week. Results from three studies indicated that participants were most likely to maintain their relative position, with a higher proportion in men. For dietary intake, tracking coefficients, which were foods with fat and/or sugar, were lower in female participants than males. Odds ratios were used to indicate the chances of complying with the recommended dietary intake. Men reported a higher OR of consuming the recommended intake of fruits than females. The probability of maintaining a relative position of dairy foods was relatively high. After 12 years, however, the associations weakened.
Systematic reviews tracking physical activity and dietary intake of childhood into adulthood separately have been conducted. The present study is; however, the first systematic review focusing on both determinants. This makes the study quite valuable in developing interventions of persistent obesity. The articles were also retrieved from trusted databases and screened more than once by experienced reviewers, which makes the systematic review reliable. However, the authors used a brief introduction that did not cover the subject of obesity-related behaviors in childhood to adulthood extensively. Additionally, the paper lacks research questions and a hypothesis. Lastly, since dietary intake and physical activity varies day today, it is challenging to quantify the measurements, and thus, the results are less accurate.
The present study examined the tracking of obesity-related behaviors from childhood to adulthood. A systematic review of 27 studies was conducted. There was evidence of tracking of both physical activity and dietary intake from childhood to adulthood. Also, the strength of tracking had similar downward trends for both variables. This study is significant in the prevention of persistent obesity from childhood to adulthood. Being the first systematic review of both behaviors, this research makes valuable contributions to the existing knowledge of preventing childhood obesity into adulthood. The background information of the subject, however, is shallow.
Craigie, A.M., Lake, A. A, Kelly, S. A, Adamson, A. J., &Mathers, J.C. (2011). “Tracking of obesity-related behaviors from childhood to adulthood: A systematic review.” Maturitas,70, 266-284. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21920682